A major concern when selecting a business name or any form of branding is whether it qualifies for trade mark protection. This is something many business owners do not consider when choosing a name for their company or product.
Trade mark infringement can stop your business dead in its tracks. It is important to get the right advice early in the process.
Is your business name already being used? Can it be trade marked?
Before deciding on a business name, make sure it can be trade marked and whether it conflicts with any existing trade mark/s.
It is important to confirm usability before proceeding with any brand development or use. Failing to do so could result in trade mark infringement, costing your company thousands of dollars in wasted branding and marketing that you can no longer legally use.
To help you avoid potential conflicts, Wynnes offer a free initial consultation, providing you with advice and options for protecting your trade marks. You can sit down with experienced patent and trade mark attorneys who will assist you in identifying your IP assets and understanding what can and cannot be protected.
Avoid being too generic or descriptive
Using a generic or descriptive name for your business name or product can be difficult to protect. You can still use generic terms, however you also want to use unique wording that makes your business easily distinguishable from your competitors. A simple way to do this is to include terms that aren’t common in your industry or make up new words/word combinations.
The following are examples of generic business names and how to improve them for trade mark protection:
|Coffee on Wheels||QuickShot Coffee on Wheelz|
|Brisbane Auto Mechanics||Big Al’s Brisbane Auto Mechanic|
|The Crusty Pie||Rusty's Krusty Pie|
Is the domain name available?
Domain names provide an internet identity for businesses and organiszsations. Your domain should be as simple and memorable as possible. If your preferred domain name is taken, you run the risk of your clients ending up at the wrong website.
For Australian businesses a “.com.au” domain will more than likely be your preferred domain (“.co.nz” for New Zealand businesses). If that domain is already taken, you should look for alternatives, perhaps including the industry or service in the domain.
|quickshot.com.au is taken||quickshotcoffee.com.au is available|
Some other tips when selecting a business name:
- Use words related to your products or service in a creative way.
- Do not copy your competition.
- Choose a name that can be scaled for expansion.
- The name needs to sound good when it's said aloud.
- Use a name that has meaning to your customers.
It is extremely important to consider trade mark protection before committing to a business name. However, it is never too late in the process to get the right advice.
Being a small or medium size business (SME) does not mean you need to be left behind. SMEs often believe they don’t need or can not afford to protect their most important business asset – their Intellectual Property (IP). This couldn't be further from the truth.
Know what you need to protect...
There are several ways to obtain funding for the commercialisation of a product; crowd funding, investors and licensees, and government and institutional grants.
In Part 1 of our Funding Your Project series, we will cover the latest trend of raising equity capital, Crowd Funding.
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